Feeling Stuck? Here’s How to Make a Career Change into IT
Do you remember taking career aptitude tests in high school? You took an assessment and then a guidance counselor or computer program recommended certain jobs that you would excel at. For example, if you enjoyed working with your hands, they recommended careers like mechanic, carpenter, cook, HVAC technician, welder, massage therapist, general laborer, and more. While you do indeed get to work with your hands in these roles, they may not always be ideal for you — they could mean working long hours on your feet, in the heat, with inflexible schedules and little room for growth.
Or the test recommended the teaching path, but once you became a teacher you realized you didn’t like the low pay and high stress of dealing with parents. The test might have recommended a job that you are now unable to fulfill because you are a caregiver, working with a disability, or have become a parent. What if you could get a sustainable, lucrative career with the possibility of remote work, normal hours, a safe, cool, air-conditioned office and still have the opportunity to work with your hands, help others, and make an impact on this world? And, you don’t have to go through years of school to get there. We’re talking about building a career in the IT industry.
When the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its ten-year job market projection in September 2020, it forecasted a strong future for IT positions as a result of a growing emphasis on technological advancements, including automation, IT security, e-commerce, and software development. The Bureau re-released its report in February 2021, this time taking the COVID-19 pandemic into consideration. The need for IT jobs jumped even more. Information Security Analysts are now projected to grow 43% through the end of the decade, while Database Administrators are projected to grow 16% and Network and Computer Systems Administrators are expected to grow 14%.
The IT industry offers not only a safe, but a growing market for professionals. But that’s not all IT jobs have to offer. IT job environments are safe, flexible, and often leave room for remote work options. Workers are re-evaluating not only their current work/life balance, but also their health, both mental and physical. In agricultural jobs, heat exposure is killing workers. Teachers are pursuing new opportunities due to low pay, high pressure, and health risks. Health-care workers are leaving their industry in droves due to stress and potential exposure. If you’re thinking about changing up your career path, consider IT, the safe, sustainable, and attainable solution with plenty of opportunities for upward mobility.
It’s Never Too Late to Change Your Career
Changing your career path, especially after you’ve been working for years, seems like an impossible hill to climb. Going back to college (or starting completely from scratch) isn’t always an option — the time and money commitment can be a huge burden. If you have other responsibilities (children, a mortgage, being a caretaker), then a traditional two-year or four-year college isn’t the best fit.
But our workforce is changing — you don’t need to go to college to get a job in IT. You don’t even need prior professional experience to break into this new role. With Tek Ladder, you have the ability to train on essential IT topics from anywhere with a WiFi connection. Our curriculum is designed for people with little to no IT experience. It only takes two months to go from a networking novice to an IT professional ready to take on the IT workforce.
How to Transition into IT Career
1. Enroll in IT Training Program
This is the most important step — actually deciding to do it. Tek Ladder not only provides the knowledge you need to start working in IT and committed Technical Instructors that make sure you understand those concepts, but also professional development workshops and job placement assistance with our Online IT Training Program. We know your goal at the end of our program is to get into a better job, so we are here to help you get that done. Apply to our program here.
2. Use Marketable Skills from Previous Jobs During Job Acquisition Process
Your previous job experience is a valuable asset during your job application and interview process. Use your prior work to explain why YOU are the best fit for the job (even if you have no professional IT experience). For example, if you worked in an automotive repair shop previously, you can highlight your time management, customer service, and critical thinking skills.
Our Career Services team is here to help make sure you are polished, marketable, and equipped for the job acquisition process. Learn how to decipher job descriptions to get your dream job with our Job Search Training process; make your resume shine with our Resume Strengthening workshop; and finally, knock your potential employer out of the park with our Interview Coaching exercises.
3. Present Final Project to Potential Employers
Presenting your final IT training program project is also a great way to snag a job — just ask Tek Ladder grad Ben Carey. He did exactly that to get his IT job at the University of Oklahoma after completing our program. He said:
“The final project was pretty fun. It’s a huge project. You have to make a whole network … I sent my final presentation to my boss, because they wanted to check it out. Now I’m here.” — Ben Carey, Tek Ladder graduate
In the final week of the Tek Ladder program, students are asked to review a technical summary of a fictitious business and recommend upgrades and changes to the IT infrastructure. This project is very close to something you would complete in a real-world IT job. Go above and beyond to prove to your potential employer you understand complex IT concepts, can present them in a digestible way for non-IT professionals and decision makers, and then recommend appropriate upgrades for the betterment of the company — even before you have the job.
4. Take IT Certifications
IT certifications make you stand out as a go-getter and as an IT expert. In Week 7 of the Tek Ladder program, we train on the CompTIA Network+ certification exam. Part of your tuition is segmented for your Network+ certification exam payment, so you don’t have to worry about finding the extra cash when exam time comes around.
The Network+ certification is important to prove you know the ins and outs of networking configuration and management, including designing and implementing functional networks, using devices such as routers to segment network traffic, identifying the pain points of a network, and troubleshooting any network-related issue. Many entry-level IT jobs are focused on networking and IT troubleshooting — completing this exam puts you ahead of the competition and makes you stand out as an IT job candidate.
5. Network on LinkedIn
Networking on LinkedIn is important for getting a job in our world. Make sure you beef up your LinkedIn presence with an attention-grabbing headline, a professional headshot, and by asking for recommendations from previous employers or coworkers. Tek Ladder has plenty of LinkedIn resources and training so you’re not stuck figuring it out for yourself.
Changing your career path sounds intimidating, especially if you’re starting later in your professional life. But the IT industry provides sustainable and in-demand jobs — and will for years to come. If IT sounds like something you could see yourself in, talk to an Enrollment Advisor by filling out our online form, emailing us at Enrollment@TekLadder.com, or calling us at 877-253-3331.
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Give us a call at (877) 253-3331 or fill out the form. An Enrollment Advisor will be in touch as soon as possible!